Garden squirrel feeders are so beloved throughout the UK that it might seem tricky to know everything there is to know about them at first. Never fear, though; we’ll be sure to help you out however we can.
In this article, we’re going to talk for a few moments about what squirrels like to eat when they’re living their lives in and around our gardens, and then we’re going to talk about different types of squirrel feeders and the pros and cons of each of them.
What Do Squirrels Like to Eat?
Squirrels like to eat a whole host of things. The things that they love most, as with any animal, are the things that are the most calorific for them. This includes options like caterpillars and other similar bugs, as well as nuts.
When squirrels are fed in parks and similar situations, they typically enjoy being fed nuts since they’re something that both humans and squirrels are happy to deal with.
In rare situations, squirrels do enjoy munching on bark and twigs, as these are great sources of roughage that help their digestive system out in times of need.
The thing that squirrels adore most of all, though, is dried corn on the cob! This is something that can be picked up from a number of places, including pet stores and similar stores online. They love it for the sweetness since sweetness goes hand in hand with calories.
Box With Hinged Lid
Boxes with hinged lids are the simple staple of gardeners that prefer to feed the squirrels whenever possible since they’re so simple, affordable, and easy to maintain. At the most basic level, they are what they say on the tin – a box with a moveable lid, a small ledge for squirrels to stand on while eating, and an extra piece of wood used to attach the feeder to a fence or tree.
The best options here are the ones that involve some kind of transparent window on the front. This can be wire mesh or perspex, but it will achieve the intended function – attracting squirrels! If they can see the food within the feeder, then they’re that much more likely to venture over and sample it.
Squirrels have an inbuilt tendency to be destructive little creatures – they often find themselves on the business end of a bird feeder, chipping away at scraps of plastic to get to the nuts within. While this drives gardeners crazy, there are some products that are designed to appeal to that destructive nature.
There are only very few feeders like this on the market, but they’re designed, essentially, to dangle dried corn on the cob at squirrels enticingly, which will draw them toward the feeder, only for it to spin, the corn eluding them!
These feeders are designed just like a merry-go-round or a roundabout. The basic idea is really very simple. A small piece of metal or plastic connects the feeder to a fence or tree while the main body of the feeder spins on a hinge. The spinning body section is connected to several long spokes, at the end of each is a way to attach some form of squirrel food, typically dried corn on the cob.
The impressive thing about this design is that it can attract squirrels in two ways simultaneously – mischief and corn.
The corn is a little obvious, really – squirrels simply adore corn and will very much go out of their way to track down a good supply. Once they track down the corn on this feeder, they’ll be very happy to eat from it.
The mischief is something a little harder to quantify. At the most basic level, squirrels are small rodents that have survived and evolved through their ability to run up trees and hide from the ground and air-based predators alike. This means that they’re particularly flighty creatures and will be happy to interact with new surroundings to secure food.
That evolutionary trait is precisely what this style of feeder is encouraging.
Statue-like options are a little rarer than other feeders since not everyone would be liable to want one in their garden. However, they’re much cuter and easier to use than you might expect.
There are cast-iron options out there that are both hard-wearing and expertly molded to an ideal shape. While we’ve found a squirrel-shaped one above, there’s nothing saying you couldn’t find one that’s a different shape for your garden.
Perhaps one of the best features of statue-like squirrel feeders is the fact that they’re incredibly easy to use. For people with reduced mobility, being able to install, maintain, and fill a squirrel feeder might seem a little daunting. However, with a statue-like feeder, it’s easy to do all of those things.
Installation is typically as simple as getting it out of the box and placing it on the floor or a small table. Maintenance is typically as simple as wiping it with a damp cloth every six months or so. Finally, the filling is as simple as tipping a bag of seeds and nuts onto the feeder – these table-like options are great for easy filling!
Birds and Squirrels at Once
Feeding birds and squirrels at once are straightforward – many bird feeders do this already! However, several specialist feeders are designed to appeal to both groups easily.
Essentially, the concept is simple – it’s usually a box with a removable lid (for easy filling) that has a small hole bored into the front. Both squirrels and birds will be comfortable retrieving nuts and seeds in this manner since it’s what they would be likely to do in the wild – trees typically store nuts within small cracks and crevices upon their form, so reaching into a small hole to retrieve them is precisely what a number of wild animals do.
We hope this article has given you a great rundown of some of the best options for feeding squirrels near you. There are some genuinely wonderful options out there, and we’re sure you’ll be able to feed your furry visitors in no time.